Disco Pigs is the directorial debut feature film of Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of Jim Sheridan who directed My Left Foot (in which Kirsten co-starred as Sharon, the sister of Christy Brown, played by Daniel Day Lewis), and In The Name Of The Father. Edna Walsh has adapted her acclaimed (in Ireland) stage play for the big screen.
Sinead, alias Runt (Cassidy), and Darren, alias Pig (Murphy), are 16-year-olds from Cork. They were born on the same day and have shared such a close friendship that they are spookily twin-like in their appearance and actions. The true story of the Welsh ‘Silent Twins’ springs to mind as a possible source of inspiration. They share their own language, a cross between baby talk, and Cork slang (which at times is incomprehensible), but their behaviour at school, home and on the streets of Cork has become increasingly violent and anarchic over recent years. Parents and teachers fearing that they will never achieve a normal life plan to split them up.
But Pig and Runt are already falling apart and their friendship is put at risk when, on the verge of their 17th birthdays their sexuality is awakened. Runt is slightly disturbed and begins to attract the attention of a fellow schoolmate. But Pig, whose jealously is awakened by Runt’s newfound womanhood, turns psychotic and his pathological jealously and desire to protect her leads to sudden outbursts of violence aimed at both himself and those around him.
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Sheridan has elicited some astonishing performances from the two young actors. They are powerful and raw and leave the viewer in no doubt that they are 100 percent committed to this film. There are some tricky shots which standout as those of a first-time director but, on the whole, Sheridan has managed to maintain an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia surrounding the enclosed world of the two protagonists.